Big crowd expected as Cardinal Dolan to say Mass Saturday at Holy Hill

CREATED Apr 27, 2012

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TOWN OF ERIN - This weekend, a cardinal of the Catholic Church returns to a city he called home for seven years.

Former Milwaukee Archbishop and current New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan comes back to Wisconsin.

He will say Mass at Holy Hill in Washington County on Saturday in his first appearance in Milwaukee since receiving the new role from Pope Benedict XVI.

"Right now, around the Archdiocese, the mood is a lot of excitement, a lot of anticipation.  He's bringing a lot of hope to a lot of people," Fr. Don Brick, who serves Holy Hill, told TODAY'S TMJ4's Melissa McCrady on "Live at Daybreak ".

"I think he's really a role model in the Catholic in the church today.  He has such a charism about him.  He just goes around and greets everybody.  He's so personable."

Preparations have begun for Cardinal Dolan's Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians.

"The cafe, they're preparing food.  You've got all the maintenance men.  You've got a lot of the sacristans preparing chairs.  We've got a lot of the people from the Archdiocese working on the liturgy," said Fr. Brick.

Dolan, who was recently named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World," remains popular among many Milwaukee-area Catholics.

Large crowds are expected for what the Cardinal is calling a "Mass of Thanksgiving" for the elevation to the college of cardinals, and also for the time he spent in Milwaukee from 2002-09.

The grounds open at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, and you must have a wristband to attend Mass.

Event crews will give those wristbands out on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 1:30 p.m.  The Mass begins three hours later.

For those who are unable to get into the basilica, a large TV monitor will transform the upper parking lot at Holy Hill into an overflow viewing area.